October 01, 2003
Robert Phillips email
Subject: Canada’s Response to the NStQ Land Sharing Offer
Canada’s response to the NStQ Land Sharing offer is attached, or just read below. Now, before you get your hopes up too high ( I know you are prepared for this ), Canada is coming back with an initial offer of “a land package of approximately 100,000 hectares” ... and if we “consider it necessary, more land may be statused at a later date.” I have many questions on this “land package”, and especially disagree with it if this 100,000 hectares including ownership and co-management lands together. Also, the word “may” really concerns me because it insinuates they do not have to do it. This is considerably too low a number to consider but it is not surprising considering the present AIP’s out there. Also, it is far less than the HAIDA offer of 20% of their territory or 200,000 hectares made by bc that the Haida refused. I’m going to call and write to Guujaw about some of the information on the Haida ( ie. Population demographics and size of their traditional territory ). Also, the First Nations Summit will be doing a comparative analysis of the current AIP’s out there, maybe we should request that the Haida Offer be included in this analysis as well. I’m thinking the Haida may have the same number of people as we do, but the size of their traditional territory may be larger. Anyways, the NStQ Land Sharing Offer is about 24% (Ownership and co-mgt) of our traditional territory. So, from my point of view our offer is very reasonable and we should not water it down to quickly. I believe both Canada and bc are checking out how we will react, but I know they want an agreement, so we should stick to our position as much as possible (I know it flies in the face of interest based negotiations, but the government is being propositional too). Here are some additional points from canada’s response. First, past presentations by Canada and the Scoping Exercise in Lands were not successful and wasted valuable time. Second, both the Scoping Exercise and the NRTWG were not processes that we have to live by, or in any form a template that we must follow, it just did not have that mandate. In fact, I was not involved and I know little about what NRTWG did in the past. However, I will follow up with Sara and the others on the team. So that argument about NRTWG and the scoping goes out the door from my point of view. Third, Canada wants the NStQ to “further refine” our land selection. This could be done, but I do not believe we should be at the beck and call of the bc government on this one. So what if bc gives December 2003 as an ultimatum. Time is not of the essence, the best treaty deal is the most important thing here and we should not agree to anything less. Fourth, Canada really wants us to select “top priority parcels for ownership... (and) comparable to other agreements, taking into consideration the value of the land and the population”. What if the other agreements in bc do not really work for us. We said time after time that the other AIP’s will not be a template, and I do not think Canada has understood that message. Again it is a “cookie – cutter approach! Fifth, it sounds at this point if we do not agree with the 100,000 hectares it is going to be along cold winter. Canada will have to move away from this number. This is canada’s number, not ours. Sixth, in terms of “creating and funding a new bodies for management purposes”, our understanding is that this whole relationship will exist based on a government – to – government relationship, not a fee simple holder, or a stakeholder, or a glorified delegated government. The present management bodies do not work. Finally, the NStQ will be creative, but bc and Canada will have to do the same and government will have to think outside this little box they currently sit in. This has to happen if Canada ever expects a treaty with the NStQ. So, read on and do not get too upset. It is negotiation after all and one way or another things will change, I just hope it is sooner than later....Kukste’tsemc
CANADA’S RESPONSE TO NStQ LAND SHARING OFFER
Canada would like to thank NStQ for the time and effort that has gone into this land presentation. NStQ has identified 544,958 hectares of land to be designated as NStQ Lands. Another 761,448 hectares has been identified as requiring special management where NStQ wishes to be directly involved in decision – making. The identification of these land areas tells the parties which lands are important to NStQ and creates a good basis for selecting treaty lands.
Canada presented its interests in land to NStQ in the past, and also expressed, in the scoping exercise, its view of what might constitute, from canada’s perspective, a starting point for negotiations. The current land proposal is an increase from the land base proposed by the Natural Resources Technical Working Group, whereas we had anticipated further focusing.
All Parties are aware that progress in land negotiations by December 2003 is critical if bc is to commit additional resources to the table. In light of this timeline, Canada intends to be direct about what actions must be taken to move the negotiations forward. It is necessary that NStQ further refine land selection and focus on top priority parcels for ownership. The land package must be comparable to other agreements, taking into consideration the value of the land and population. It must respect the interests of all Parties and also be acceptable to people living in the area. NStQ should also consider what they prefer with respect to a land/cash balance. Canada is willing to cost – share land statusing with bc once NStQ has identified a land package of approximately 100,000 hectares. Since the land statusing process is lengthy, an early start would be advantageous. Should the Chief Negotiators consider it necessary, more land may be statused at a later time.
Canada would like more specific details from NStQ on “Special – Management Areas” and joint decision – making with bc on land and resources. Canada would like to encourage NStQ to pursue creative options for meeting their interests in land in addition to obtaining treaty lands. Some of those options may be more suitable than ownership and some may be outside treaty. Exploration of these options, and their applicability to specific land parcels, can be carried out by the NStQ or by the Working Group. Canada is not interested in creating and funding new bodies for management purposes.
Canada acknowledges that land is critical to the success of AIP negotiations. We are pleased with NStQ’s commitment to this process and we are encouraged by the increased productivity in the negotiations. We look forward to proceeding with the exploration of NStQ interests on the topic of land.